Rowandale Canal Basin - Development History of Section Two

The base of the section at the end of November 2018
As before the base is made from two 50mm slabs of builders insulation board, glued together with Evostik Impact Adhesive. The top surface is the zero base level for the track, and will align vertically with the goods yard area of the first section. This provides a light and rigid base; the same technique was used for the first section. Other layers of board are glued to this to give elevated track and background hills, and river valleys will be cut into it. The top photo shows the initial rough cut with a print out of the track.
Track layout for corner section two.
This is the track plan for the five foot corner section which attaches to the open end of the first town & station section. This will contain an extension of the town, together with a section of canal, with lock & canal basin. Then moving into open moorland with the track rising on a 2% to 3% gradient. At the left are the ends of the hidden storage loops which become the double main line, which rises to join the other part of the main line coming from the raised station. The single track access to the goods yard passes under this and will rise to join the main line in the next section. This section was started in November 2018.
The mill building and a castle or folly have been build from card kits, ready to place on it. A low relief terrace of houses, from the rear of Archie’s Yard, will also be moved to this section.
The base of the section at the end of February 2019
The plywood side panels have been glued to the foam base with a building adhesive ( Everbuild StixAll) This has high-grab and excellent gap-filling, so where the vertical edges of the foam base are inevitably far from exact, the glue forms a good joint. Corners are reinforced with right angle mouldings. Rather than use thin MDF as the base for the track, a double layer of 3mm grey-board has been used; glued together with a PVA based woodworking adhesive. The grey-board was cut from A3 sheets with the joints staggered ( as in brick laying ). This was much easier to cut to shape than MDF and results in a strong but slightly flexible base; ideal for gradients. The grey-board was then glued to the foam base with the building adhesive.
The usual cork strips were then glued along the track line with a generous layer of Copydex adhesive, and the track glued on top of this with just a thin layer of Copydex, weighted down with large paint cans or books till dry. Laid like this the track can easily be lifted, if required, by sliding the full blade of a snap-off blade craft knife underneath it.
Progress by the end of March 2019 The corner section, wired and points motors fitted, together with isolation wiring. The servos and switches for the cross-over.
Further work on this section will be postponed until the base layers and track is laid for the remaining sections. The alignment dowels and clamping magnets have not been fitted yet.
So that trains can be run again as soon as possible, these sections will initially just have the track bases, track laid and ballasted, together with basic topography. Points control and isolation sections will then be connected to the computer for route selection from the control panel. Buildings and scenery will then be added to each section in turn.
History of Sections One, Three & Four are on Separate Pages
The development of the sections of Rowandale; are each recorded on separate pages.
Progress by the middle of October 2019
Not much modelling work has been done over the summer. However the layout has now moved upstairs to a spare bedroom and the shape of the planned extension layout has been changed from a long ‘L’ to a more compact ‘U’ shape. The supporting frame has been built and all three of the new sections have been constructed. The track has been laid to all the new sections and the tracks aligned across the baseboard joints. This corner section will now feature a canal lock with lock-keeper’s cottage and canal basin. The lock, cottage and one narrow boat have been constructed; again from Scalescenes card kits, and can be seen in detail here on the Buildings Page.
The basic topography on Section Three will be brought to this same level before further work done to finish this section.
Baseboard sections are aligned with two engineering dowel pins & sockets, and held together with two 25mm diameter magnets (22kg force) acting on 30mm diameter steel washers. These are all set into a pair of abutting 50x25 mm wood beams (shown in orange on the track plan) which are glued into the foam base, aligned with the top edge. Tests showed that using Everbuild StixAll building adhesive resulted in a strong joint with the insulation board, adhering well to both surfaces, and with excellent gap filling qualities; better than other adhesives I tried.
Joining the Baseboards Together
Where the tracks cross board joints, they have been soldered to a 20mm wide strip of PCB, with appropriate cuts in the copper surface to provide the track insulation. The cork underlay was removed under the PCB and packing strips of grey-board are inserted under the copper strips, to match the thickness of the cork. The PCB strips are then fixed with screws either side of each track, reaching down into the wooden end beams. During soldering the tracks were aligned by eye. The vertical alignment of the adjoining track ends can then be tweaked by adjusting the screws; compressing the grey-board.
Showing the canal lock & keepers cottage in approximate place.   Track ends are aligned over the board joints.
The method of joining adjacent boards, described above, has proved very satisfactory; the magnetic clamps hold the baseboards firmly and accurately together without the need for any other clamping devices. To separate adjacent baseboards a couple of large screw drivers are needed to lever them apart!
The strength of the glued joint between the inset wooden end beams and the insulation board has also proved to be very robust, with no sign of separation. The plywood side panels have also stayed firmly attached to the sides of the insulation board, despite some rough handling when forgetting they were only glued! The end result has been four very solid and fairly light baseboards, easily carried by one person.
Track layout for corner section two. Full track plan. Progress by the middle of November 2019
The basic topography of this corner section completed with the canal lock and basin in place. The hills have been built up with scraps of the builders foam, overlaid with low density filler and roughly painted for areas of bare rock & moorland. The area at bottom left will have a removable raised part of the town, covering the point servos for the hidden storage lines. At top right, these servos and controller will be covered by a lift-off section of moor and a signal box . A tentative positioning of buildings is shown at left.
Basic topography; with roughly painted areas of rock & moorland. Tentative positioning of buildings.
The full plan is shown here:



The DCC bus-wires are now in place and wired to the tracks. The points servo motors have been fitted, together with micro-switches for the frog polarity and switching of isolation sections. Note that one of the servo motors has had the thickness of the operating arm increased ( two extra part arms glued to it ) so as to operate a second micro-switch for the two track isolation sections of the double track cross- over.
Closeup of the crossover section of the double main line.
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